Motivation Articles

The Before-During-After Journal

The Write Way to Build Your Intrinsic Motivation

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Maybe you'll notice that you actually prefer guilt and frustration to the pride, accomplishment, and pleasure that come with doing what you set out to do. Crazy as it sounds, lack of motivation can be related to secretly wanting to feel and think negatively about yourself. You may prefer these feelings, as unpleasant as they are, to the anxiety that comes with making big changes and opening yourself up to new possibilities in your life. If this rings a bell for you, you may need to work on getting comfortable with positive thoughts and feelings about yourself.

Either way, paying attention to what's going on inside when you act is the first step towards uncovering your own intrinsic motivation to accomplish your goals.  If you can commit to keeping your Before-During-After journal faithfully—even for a short time, like two or three weeks—I’ll bet big bucks that your problems with feeling unmotivated will happen much less often and be much easier to deal with.
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About The Author

Dean Anderson Dean Anderson
Dean Anderson has master's degrees in human services (behavioral psychology/stress management) and liberal studies. His interest in healthy living began at the age of 50 when he confronted his own morbid obesity and health issues. He joined SparkPeople and lost 150 pounds and regained his health. Dean has earned a personal training certification from ACE and received training as a lifestyle and weight management consultant. See all of Dean's articles.

Member Comments

  • This article hit dead on for me about being uncomfortable with change. I do need to be open and stop judging and becoming defeated. I think I will try this journal. Can't hurt. - 8/8/2014 10:15:20 PM
  • This is a great article that really got me thinking. I have lost 40 pounds, but keeping it off and continuing my healthy lifestyle journey has been a real struggle. I think this may be the impetus I need to start journaling. - 11/16/2013 8:43:19 AM
  • BAMAJAM
    Thank you, Dean Anderson, for this wonderful infomation---- Many can benefit from all this advice-- and I am truly appreciative! - 2/13/2013 1:10:09 PM
  • Great I am going to do this.Even when I was in school writing things down helped me do better. My motivation can always use a boost. - 10/3/2012 8:42:20 AM
  • I had previously read your article on " 4 Steps to Lasting Behavioral Change" and it lead me to this article. Both are excellent...I didn't know how to say it, but I needed that "internal" self awareness and self monitoring you describe. Starting a journal today to do just that! Thanks a million!!!!! - 6/13/2012 10:51:37 AM
  • So weird that I found this on the motivation page today because I started a journal this morning. I felt that I needed to write how I was feeling about my plateau and the stress I'm feeling from other things, and how they were compounding. This is a great suggestion, I'll incorporate it in! - 5/24/2012 12:33:02 PM
  • BUTTONS241
    Just what I needed. Well written. - 1/16/2012 11:50:39 AM
  • Been procrastinating getting my journal. NOT ANY MORE! Going out today to get a new small moleskin book with graphic pages and elastic closure band. Perfect for purse. I know this will work. - 12/11/2011 11:10:26 AM
  • This article is what I need right now. I am struggling with depression so cataloging what I feel about my own motivations will help me in the long run, I hope. - 5/10/2011 10:17:15 AM
  • I'm so "on this page" today! Thanks for your practical comments & for pointing in a useful direction to apply & make POSITIVE changes! - 11/15/2010 3:18:39 PM
  • Excellent article. I believe the mind is very powerful. If you continually say that you will NEVER lose the weight, I believe that you will not. Also his statement "find what works best for you" is great. - 11/2/2010 11:46:37 AM
  • Coach Dean, what did you do, crawl inside my ear and have a look inside my brain when I was napping?! How do you DO that??? Reckon I'll have to give this a try to shut the Dragon Lady up for good... :) - 5/12/2010 5:54:52 PM
  • This is an awesome article.....have kept journals however not been journalling lately....this has morivated me to re-start again so that I can be aware when the negative creeps in and do something about it so that it doesn't get a hold and pull me backwards..... - 5/11/2010 5:49:08 AM
  • Coach, this is perfect! I have the extrinsic because I need to keep my job, but intrinsic is my struggle. I am going to grab this and start tonight! - 3/6/2010 7:34:54 PM
  • This makes a whole lot of sense. I'm starting right now! - 3/1/2010 8:52:08 PM

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